What is Winter League?

Winter League is the Pacific Northwest’s premier competitive orienteering series for all ages. Elementary, Middle School, and High School students compete under the banner of the Washington Interscholastic Orienteering League (WIOL). Cascade Orienteering Club also offers a competitive league for college students and adults, as well as non-competitive beginner-friendly categories at every event!


Course Controls Length Climb
1- Elementary/Beginner     8 1.1 km 5 m
2- MiddleSchool     9 1.7 km 5 m
3- JV Rookie/Advanced Beginner   12 1.9 km 10 m
4- JV Girls/Intermediate   14 2.9 km 15 m
5- JV Boys   16 2.8 km 15 m
6- Varsity   20 3.9 km 20 m
7- Short Advanced   21 3.9 km 20 m
8- Intercollegiate/Long Advanced   28 4.8 km 25 m

How are courses measured?

Courses are measured as the crow flies, in a direct line from control to control. Unless you have wings, you will travel farther than this distance! Courses are measured in kilometers, so a good rule of thumb is to simply round up to miles to estimate how far you will go. So in a 5 kilometer race, you’ll likely travel up to 5 miles.


  • Major updates have been made to the N SeaTac map thanks to Dave Tallent. The 1:5,000 scale was chosen for printing to accommodate easier reading of the hundreds of point features and hopefully, the enjoyment of off-trail navigating. (The map scale used to be 1:7,500.) The contours are still 2.5 m. 
  • A special map symbol that is an open black triangle (a triangle that is not filled in) is being used for the frisbee baskets. Root-stocks are marked with brown X.
  • There will be other visitors to the park during the event. The north part has a popular frisbee course. The south part of the park has two areas for radio-controlled cars. It is also possible to encounter mountain bikers, especially in the southern part of the park, so please be vigilant.
  • The south part of the park has remnants of the abandoned residential blocks from the development of the third runway at SeaTac Airport.
  • Beginner/Elementary, Middle School, and Advanced Beginner/JV Rookie courses will stay on the north side of S. 136th St. All other courses will cross S. 136th St.
  • For courses 6, 7, and 8 (Varisty, Short Advanced and Intercollegiate/Long Advanced), do not be alarmed by the number of controls. Two are just for a mandatory road crossing and several others are “setup” controls to avoid dog legs. Think sprint race, but be aware that you may find yourself running faster than your ability to read the map and navigate. Now that’s fun!
  • Mandatory Crossing and Out of Bounds
    • Runners on the courses that will cross S 136th Street will have a control close to the crosswalk so the logical place to cross the street is at the crosswalk. (This control will be visited twice, once for each street crossing.) There will be a crosswalk guard there as well for safer crossing.
    • The crosswalk is the only legal place to cross this street since the street is marked as out of bounds on the east and west sides of the crosswalk. 
    • Crossing S 136th anywhere besides the mandatory crossing point is grounds for disqualification.
    • The ball fields and soccer fields, as well as some areas in the southern part for radio-controlled cars, have been marked as out of bounds as well.
    • Do not enter out-of-bounds areas, it may be grounds for disqualification. If you find that you have entered an out-of-bounds area, turn around and retrace your route.
    • Unless you are running up the finish chute to finish your race, the finish chute is out of bounds. Do not cross over the tape, please walk around.


9:30 am – Registration opens

9:30 am – Newcomer instruction available

10:00 am – Start opens

11:45pm – Registration closes

Noon – Newcomer instruction ends

Noon – Start closes

2:30 pm – Course closes


Why is there a start window?

This event uses an interval start, which means that participants are started in waves instead of all at once. When you arrive at the start tent, find the chute for your course and follow the start volunteer’s instructions.


$17 base price
– subtract $5 for CascadeOC members
– subtract $5 for using your own e-punch

$20 base price
– subtract $5 for CascadeOC members
– subtract $5 for using your own e-punch

Become a member for $5-20

Buy your own e-punch for $38

What’s an e-punch?

An e-punch records your race. At each control, you’ll dip the e-punch into an electronic box, which will beep and flash as confirmation. After you finish, you’ll download the e-punch at the download tent and get a receipt that show which controls you visited and how long you took between each; these are your “splits.”

Part of the fun of orienteering is comparing your splits with people who completed the same course, and discussing the routes you took!


Online pre-registration closes:

Day-of-event registration is available by cash or check, made payable to Cascade Orienteering Club

Learn more about volunteering

Volunteers make these events happen! You can volunteer and participate on the same day, plus earn volunteer points to earn a free meet.



Follow the parking signs to the lot on the east side of the park.


Looking for a carpool? Join the Yahoo listserv and share your request to find a ride.


North SeaTac Park is a unique park–an answer to the question, “What would happen if all the people and their houses disappeared from a neighborhood?” There’s a mostly intact grid system of overgrown streets, trees and other vegetation that have grown back withe a vengeance, and open, grassy areas with intermittent vegetation clusters that are easy to navigate through if you don’t make a parallel feature error.

We typically start from the northeast area of the park, where there is ample parking and permanent restrooms. There is one busy street mid-course (on the longer courses), which usually has a crossing guard as a volunteer role.

Read more on the map page

Navigational Challenge: 5/10

Physical Challenge: 2/10


Return to the Finish
All participants MUST return to the finish and download their e-punch or turn in their punch card.

Even if you have not finished your course, you must still return to the the finish and confirm with event staff that you have returned safely.

Out of Bounds
Some areas may be marked out of bounds. It is imperative to respect these boundaries to maintain our relationships with land managers. Participants MUST NOT go out of bounds. Any participant caught going out of bounds will be disqualified.

Course Closure
All participants MUST return to the finish by course closure time. If a participant does not return by course closure, event volunteers will begin coordinating a search party.

If you need a long time on the course, start as early in the start window as possible, wear a watch, and be prepared to cut your course short to make it back by the course closure time.

All participants MUST carry a whistle on the course. Complimentary whistles are available at the start tent (please only take one).

If you are injured on the course and need assistance, blow three long blasts to call for help.

If you hear a call for help, abandon your course to find the person in distress.

Part of the fun and fairness of orienteering is navigating your own course, so please be polite when you find a checkpoint and don’t holler that you’ve found it.